Skeleton Lake News

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  • 29 Nov 2018 1:36 PM | Jeff Crocker (Administrator)

    To:  SLCO Members

    Re: November 26, 2018 Hearing re Proposed Lippa Pit and Quarry / Next Steps

    As advised in my last communique, the 3rd OMB Pre-Hearing Conference (PHC) took place Monday in Port Carling.  A big thank you to everyone that attended the PHC.  Despite the adverse weather conditions we filled the hearing room, a clear demonstration of the community’s continuing opposition to the quarry. 

    At the PHC, Ross Earl made a ‘Motion to Dismiss’ the Lippa application, which was strongly supported by SLCO with filed affidavits and legal arguments.  A decision on the Motion was reserved by the Adjudicator and is unlikely to be rendered before mid to late December.

    I am pleased to also advise you that opponents of the quarry recorded a significant win at the PHC.   Ross Earl has consistently maintained that the Official Plan prohibits rock crushing within 2 kms of a “Waterfront Designation”; that Lambert’s Lake and Mudd Lake are “Waterfront Designation”; that the proposed quarry and associated rock crushing operations are within 2 kms of these lakes; and that the Lippa application therefore violates the Official Plan.  This position was supported at the PHC by the Township and by SLCO; and at the PHC, counsel for Lippa conceded to the Adjudicator that this position is correct.  As a result, Lippa can in no circumstances proceed with their application unless they also apply for a second amendment to the Official Plan, to allow rock crushing within 2 kms of Lambert and Mudd Lakes.  This amendment would be the subject of another time-consuming round of public consultations and would then have to be presented to Township Council.  Our expectation is that this amendment would be rejected by Council, consistent with their rejection of the amendment proposed in the original application.  

    We will continue to keep you informed as more information becomes available.  In the interim, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.  Again, thank you for the strong support at Monday’s PHC.

    Sincerely,

    Scott May, President

    Skeleton Lake Cottagers Organization

    e:   scott@skeletonlake.ca

    c:   416 559 2839


  • 20 Nov 2018 3:20 PM | Jeff Crocker (Administrator)

    November 20, 2018

    Re: November 26 Hearing re Proposed Lippa Pit and Quarry

    A reminder that the 3rd OMB Pre-Hearing Conference (now called LPAT CMC) will take place at 10:00 am on Monday, November 26, 2018 at the Municipal Office, 3 Bailey Street, Port Carling.  It will be a Hearing of a Motion to Dismiss the Lippa Appeal, which Motion is being brought by Ross Earl and is being supported by SLCO.  Grounds for the Motion are that the Lippa Appeal is frivolous because of a flaw in the original application.  Specifically, Lambert’s Lake (where Mr. Earl owns property) and Mud Lake are less than one kilometre from the proposed rock-crushing operations on the Lippa site.  Both lakes are designated “Waterfront” under the Township of Muskoka Lakes Official Plan; and that Plan forbids any new rock-crushing operations within two kilometres of property designated “Waterfront”.  As a result, the Lippa proposal violates the Official Plan.  

    Given the important issue to be decided at Monday’s hearing, your attendance is especially important.  We need to continue to demonstrate to the adjudicator that a large number of people remain strongly opposed to the proposed pit and quarry.  

    I am looking forward to seeing you on November 26 in Port Carling.  As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

    Sincerely,

    Scott May, President

    Skeleton Lake Cottagers Organization

    e:   scott@skeletonlake.ca

    c:   416 559 2839

  • 07 Sep 2018 8:25 AM | Tim Lutton (Administrator)

    And the winner of the Red Canoe is …

    Kathy Ross on the north shore of Skeleton Lake.  Congratulations Kathy!     

    Thanks to the generosity of everyone who purchased a raffle ticket, $1,943 was raised which will be put towards the fund to fight the proposed Lippa Pit and Quarry.  It was great to see so many people buying tickets in an effort to help protect our lake.  Again, what a great lake to be a part of! 

    A particular note of thanks to the folks at Skeleton Lake Marina, who kindly donated the beautiful new 14-foot Sportspal canoe.  SLCO sincerely appreciates their generosity in providing the canoe, plus their continued support in helping SLCO fight the proposed Lippa Pit and Quarry. 

     

    A reminder that the next Pre-Hearing Conference (i.e. PHC3) will be held on Monday, November 26, 2018 in Port Carling.  (NOTE:  the previous newsletter mistakenly said PHC3 will be held on a Friday.  The correct date is Monday, November 26.  Apologies for any confusion.)


  • 27 Aug 2018 7:45 PM | Tim Lutton (Administrator)

    Membership

    210!  That’s the number of paid up members who are part of SLCO.  Although that is an impressive figure, we would like to increase the size of our membership.  Specifically, our target is 250 members this year, which our operating plans are based on.  As the old saying goes, ‘there is strength in numbers!’  If you have not yet renewed your annual membership, or have a friend or neighbour who would like to join, please go to the Skeleton Lake website (www.skeletonlake.ca) or contact either Paul Smith at psfreedomatskeleton@gmail.com or Kelly Andrews at kelly@skeletonlake.ca to join.

    Septic Pump-Out

    If there is enough interest by folks on the lake, then SLCO will plan to organize a ‘septic tank pump’ for water access properties this fall.  We’ve already heard from a few interested cottagers.  For those of you that might have missed the last pump out in 2016, now is the perfect time to get this necessary job done.  Just email Jeff Crocker at jeff@skeletonlake.ca to indicate your interest in a pump out.   

    You’d Look Great in a Red Canoe!

    What a great lake to be part of!  In an effort to help fund the fight against the proposed Lippa Pit and Quarry, Skeleton Lake Marina has kindly donated a beautiful new canoe to be raffled.  The canoe is a red, 14-foot Sportspal with oars and motor bracket, as shown below.  This beautiful canoe is valued at $1,800.  The raffle tickets are $10 per ticket, or 3 tickets for $25.  Draw date is Saturday September 1 at 11:00 am.  All proceeds received will go towards the fund to fight the proposed quarry.


    So why not drop into the marina to buy your tickets today.  (Note:  you need to please drop into the marina in person to purchase your tickets … they cannot be processed over the phone.)  And a big thank you to Skeleton Lake Marina for their ongoing support.

    The Tangled Garden Premiere 

    A reminder that the premiere of ‘The Tangled Garden’ will be on Sept 1 at 7:00 PM at the Rosseau Memorial Community Centre.  It is a new play written by Skeleton Lake's own Bruce Gooch about two unlikely people brought together by poetry and ultimately connected in life and death.  Catch this debut performance starring our own Lynn Vogt and Bruce Gooch before it heads to Europe for an extended run this Fall.  The cost of a ticket is $25 (which will be donated to the SLCO 'Stop the Lippa Quarry' Fund).  Tickets are limited for this intimate theatre venue in the village of Rosseau, so don’t delay in getting yours for an evening of entertainment.  For tickets, contact Betsy at betsy@skeletonlake.ca 


    Proposed Lippa Quarry

    The 3rd Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) Pre-Hearing Conference (PHC) is scheduled to be held on Friday Nov 26, 2018 in the Township of Muskoka Lakes Council Chambers (1 Bailey Road, Port Carling), starting at 10:00 am.  This 3rd PHC provides an excellent opportunity for us to continue to show the OMB our level of concern and our complete commitment to defeating this quarry.  Let's continue to fill the Community Centre Hall with concerned SLCO members and others in the community, to show them that we care about our lake!

    ----------


  • 21 Aug 2018 9:44 PM | Tim Lutton (Administrator)

    What a great lake to be part of!  In an effort to help fund the fight against the proposed Lippa Pit and Quarry, Skeleton Lake Marina has kindly donated a beautiful new canoe to be raffled. 

    The canoe is a red, 14-foot Sportspal with oars and motor bracket, as shown below.  This beautiful canoe is valued at $1,800.  The raffle tickets are $10 per ticket, or 3 tickets for $25.  Draw date is Saturday September 1st at 11:00 am.  All proceeds received will go towards the fund to fight the proposed quarry.


    So please buy your tickets now.  Either drop into the marina, or call them at 705-769-2151 to purchase your tickets today.  And a big thank you to Skeleton Lake Marina for their ongoing support.


  • 19 Aug 2018 3:56 PM | Tim Lutton (Administrator)

    Last weekend the Stroud grandchildren hosted a cookie and drink sale to raise funds and awareness to fight the proposed Lippa quarry.  A group of six children from the north shore of Skeleton Lake raised over $650 for SLCO’s Stop the Lippa Quarry Fund, by selling homemade cookies and lemonade.  The sale was set up at the corner of Long Point Road and Leander Road.  They proudly presented this money to Scott May, SLCO President, at the AGM on Sunday August 12.  Now that’s an impressive effort to help preserve our beautiful lake!

     From left to right: Max Bartlett, Aryana Bartlett, Octavia Bartlett, Kensington Churchill, Lyla Bartlett and Hudson Churchill.

    A reminder that the next PHC will be held in Port Carling on Monday, November 26 at 10:00 am, so please mark this date on your calendar.


  • 21 Jul 2018 4:28 PM | Jeff Crocker (Administrator)

    THE SKELETON LAKE COTTAGERS’ ORGANIZATION

    ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

    AGENDA


    Sunday, August 12, 2018

    10:00 AM

    Camp Ramah



    1.     Welcome and Call to Order

    2.     Confirm and approve agenda

    3.     Motion to approve the minutes of the meeting held on August 13, 2017

    4.     Business arising from the minutes of August 13, 2017

    5.     President’s Report- Scott May

    • Lippa update

    6.     Treasurer’s Report – Sherril Johnson

    7.     Election of Directors

    8.     Committee Reports:

    • Environment and Stewardship - Water Quality - Jan Hunter, Tony Shevsky
    • Recreation - Bob Smith
    • History Project - Teddene Long
    • Lake Partners - Ken Auden
    • Membership - Paul Smith
    • Governance - Teddene Long

    9.     Other Business

    10.   Setting the date for the next AGM

    11.   Adjournment

    Attachments: (please click to view/download)

    SLCO 2018 AGM Agenda .pdf

    SLCO 2018 AGM Proxy .pdf

    SLCO 2018 AGM Proxy Instructions .pdf

    SLCO 2017 AGM Minutes.pdf

    SLCO AGM Profit and Loss Dec 31 2017 final.pdf

    SLCO AGM 2018 Balance sheet Dec 31 2017 final.pdf

    SLCO 2018 AGM Director Slate .pdf

    (Please print these documents and bring to the AGM as limited copies will be available.)


  • 16 Jul 2018 4:39 PM | Jeff Crocker (Administrator)

    Re:  Lippa Pit and Quarry  2nd Pre-Hearing Conference update

    The purpose of this letter is to inform you of recent activity, plus important upcoming dates in our continued fight against the proposed Lippa pit and quarry.

    Recent Activity:

    The 2nd Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) Pre-Hearing Conference was held on Friday July 13, 2018 in Bracebridge.  A big thank you to all of those who were able to attend once again, the Community Centre was filled with people opposed to the Lippa operations!  During the Hearing, the Tribunal added an additional Party plus 3 additional Participants to the case, all supporting our position.  

    As well, during the Hearing, SLCO Counsel asked the Township of Muskoka Lakes to clarify its position on Lambert’s Lake and Mud Lake, which are designated as Waterfront in the Township’s Official Plan.  The proposed pit and quarry would be located significantly less than two kilometres from these lakes, which is in violation of the Official Plan.  We hope to receive their response by August 31, 2018.

    Upcoming Dates:

    The Board has ordered that a 3rd OMB Pre-Hearing Conference be set for Monday Nov 26, 2018 and be held at the Community Centre, Port Carling.  As before, your attendance is important, as we want to continue to demonstrate to the Adjudicator that a large number of people remain strongly against the proposed pit and quarry.

    The OMB Hearing itself is expected to take place sometime in 2019.  These dates will be set at the next PHC and we will notify you once they become available. 

    I am looking forward to seeing you at the next Pre-Hearing Conference in November.  As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

    Sincerely, 


    Scott May, President

    Skeleton Lake Cottagers Organization

    e:   scott@skeletonlake.ca

    c:   416 559 2839

  • 15 Jul 2018 8:01 PM | Tim Lutton (Administrator)

    SLCO Newsletter – July 15, 2018

    Water Quality Update

    Water quality testing was conducted on July 7, 2018 (the previous test was conducted on May 31, 2018).

    There are six parameters that our water testing program monitors.  They are Total Coliform, E.Coli, Total Phosphorus, Calcium, Clarity and Temperature.  All of these have a factor in the quality of our water.

    Water samples for Total Phosphorous and Calcium are done and sent to the Dorset Environmental Science Centre for testing.  We will receive results for these later this summer.  Dorset also receives our secchi (clarity) results for the season.

    Secchi testing (clarity) on July 12, 2018 (a very sunny, calm day) resulted in a count of 11 meters.  This is an excellent result for clear Skeleton Lake.

    8 Locations are tested May to September each year for Total Coliform and E.Coli:

    Wilson’s Bay                 SK2

    Newport Beach             SK4

    Beaman’s Bay               SK6

    Camp Ramah                SK7

    Bottom of High Falls    SK8

    Camp Kwasind              SK9

    Long Point Bay              SK10

    Long Bay                        SK11

    All of these locations in the second testing (July 7, 2018) tested “good to great”.  Total Coliform counts were higher than in May.  This is common for the lake with warmer temperatures and more boating.  There has not been a lot of rain and the pollen was very high/thick this year.  Temperature of the lake is a consistent 77 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    Our water testing so far this year indicates that the high quality of the water in Skeleton Lake continues its reputation of a crystal, clear clean lake.

    Garbage

    The garbage and recycling bin site located at Skeleton Lake Marina did not return this summer season.  The owner of the Marina requested that the District of Muskoka (District) remove the site due to ongoing misuse of it and the continued challenges of keeping the site clean and tidy.

    Instead, for those interested, the marina has arranged a new service.  New bins are now available to use at the side of the marina in a fenced, locked area.  The current cost per month to use the bins is approximately $25/month.  The amount of the fee is based on the number of people who use the garbage service.  The marina will not be using these bins and will not be making any profits on the program.  Please note this new service is only open to the marina’s seasonal slip customers, and not open to the general public.

    Septic Pump-Out

    SLCO is planning to once again organize a ‘septic tank pump’ for water access properties.  This activity was done 2 years ago.  For those of you that might have missed it in 2016, now is the perfect time to get this necessary job done.  You can update your profile page by signing into your account at https://skeletonlake.ca/Sys/Profile , choose the grey tab ‘edit profile where you can indicate your interest in a pump out this year. Alternatively, you can email admin@skeletonlake.ca to indicate your interest in a pump out.  We will be sending out more details in a separate note.

    Nesting Loons

    The cry of the loon is a classic sound of life at the cottage.  As such, we need to do what we can to help protect our feathered friends.  A friendly reminder to please slow down on the water.  In particular, please be aware of the loons in the narrow channel between Rosebud Island and the mainland.  There is a sign at one end that says ‘slow no wake’, and there is a sign at the other end that says loon nesting area.  Speeding close to shore hurts our wildlife, damages boats and docks, and is dangerous!

    Annual Regatta

    The annual regatta will be held on Saturday August 4, 2018 starting at 12:00 noon.  Similar to before, it will be held at Newport Adventure Camp, on Camp Newport Road. 

    Activities will include swimming/canoe/kayak races, plus land competitions including a 3-legged race, wheelbarrow race and tug-of-war.  There will even be a horseshoe social.   In-between the events, there will be a BBQ to keep you fueled up.  BBQ and registration will start at noon.  The event will end at approximately 3:30 PM.  In the event of rain, the Regatta will be held on Sunday, August 5.  The regatta is free to all SLCO members, their family and weekend guests.

    Fishing Derby

    The fishing derby will be held this year on Saturday, August 4 from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon at the Skeleton Lake Marina, at Skeleton Lake Road #3 and Highway 141.  A pancake breakfast will be served, along with an award presentation after the event for those skilled anglers! 

    Sailing Regatta

    The 49th running of the sailing regatta will be held on Sunday, August 5 with a start time of 1:30 pm at the east point of Wilson's Bay.  In the interim, let’s hope for fair winds!

    2018 AGM

    A reminder that the Annual General Meeting will be held this year on Sunday August 12.  The meeting will start at 10:00 am, and be held at Camp Ramah, 1104 Fish Hatchery Road in Utterson.  Please plan to attend in order to keep you informed of both current activities and issues on the lake.

    Proposed Lippa Quarry

    The 2nd Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) Pre-Hearing Conference (PHC) was held on Friday July 13.  A big thank you to all who attended!

    The 3rd OMB PHC is scheduled for Monday November 26 in the Township of Muskoka Lakes Council Chambers (1 Bailey Street, Port Carling), starting at 10:00 am.  This PHC provides an excellent opportunity for us to continue to show the OMB our level of concern and our complete commitment to defeating this quarry.  Let's fill the Community Centre Hall with concerned SLCO members and others in the community.


  • 10 Jul 2018 8:00 PM | Jeff Crocker (Administrator)

    The SLCO is confirming that the Pre-hearing Conference ("PHC") is proceeding this Friday in Port Carling at 10:00am as scheduled.  We hope to see a big turnout.

    There will be several controversial items on the agenda at the PHC, which SLCO is monitoring closely.

    1. The lawyer for Frank and Elizabeth Lippa ("Lippa") will be asking the OMB  to schedule a hearing date as soon as possible.  Our lawyer will be objecting because the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests ("MNRF") has not formally referred the case under the Aggregate Resources Act for a hearing.  Our letter of objection sent to the MNRF dated July 10, 2017 has not received a response.  ThePlanning Act appeal and the ARA license should proceed together, but not until MNRF has completed its consultation and provided SLCO and the Township with its responses to our objections and any updated technical reviews.  Please note that Mr. Frank Lippa passed away recently and we are waiting to learn who will be the proponent going forward.
    2. Mr. Ross Earl obtained party status and has notified the parties that he is a landowner on Lamberts Lake, just northeast of the proposed quarry.  Another lake, known locally as Mud Lake also lies close to the proposed quarry.   Both lakes are designated "Waterfront" in section "F" of the Township Official Plan.  Official Plan section E.14.2 requires new rock crushing operations shall be limited to areas "farther than two kilometres from a Waterfront designation".   Both Mr. Earle and SLCO will be making arguments on Friday that the failure to address the lack of physical separation of the quarry from these lakes requires a re-submission of the application to acknowledge these designations and to require examination of the impacts to these lakes, leading to their protection.
    3. SLCO will be objecting to the draft "Issues List" provided by counsel to Lippa.  The List is too general and vague to permit the parties to ascertain what evidence, if any, needs to be called in response to the Lippa case.  It is premature to proceed to a hearing without a detailed Issues List.  We are expecting the Township to support SLCO in this objection.
    4. Finally, SLCO will be seeking full disclosure of any new technical studies provided to the MNRF for review by our experts.  SLCO has been diligent in retaining experts from numerous disciplines to ensure the quarry is either not approved, or at the very least will not impact the quality of life around the lake.  Our experts have indicated in a series of preliminary peer reviews that there are serious deficiencies and omissions in the technical reports submitted to date.  In layman's terms, the facts are noise from the quarry and truck traffic will disturb our tranquil and natural environment.  Traffic safety mixed with the addition of large trucks is a significant concern as local roads are a "five out of five" for safety concerns.  Water quality could be impaired so that the lake will not persist in the same quality we now enjoy.  I expect that once our experts have made a thorough review of the updated studies, we will be providing you with a full report of their findings.  Again, we expect the Township to support our disclosure request.

    The PHC will take place in the Port Carling Community Centre, starting at 10:00 sharp.  We expect the entire proceeding to last no more than 1 hour, please spare the time if you can.  Our strength is in our community and our numbers.


    The Skeleton Lake Cottagers Organization


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